Tiger lily bulblets w/ roots! refrigerate? plant? leave in bag?

redraif(8)July 21, 2010

So I'm new to gardening with no guidance accept for what I'm finding online. I have searched, but have gotten overwhelmed with the info and not quite getting the specifics I need to know.

We are just starting out with a new home and I'm trying to fix a paid for landscaping horror story. My aunt donated some plants before she moved away and I'm trying to create something respectable with them.

I got a few tiger lilies from her. They are all strong and very pretty. Seem to be decent bloomers. So I wanted to run with some of their seed-like things on the stems and see what becomes of them. They are free right?! I'm not selling, or crossing, just enjoying them for myself.

So we were leaving to go on vacation and I have been watching my tigers so I could catch them when they were ready. I also noticed the tiger lily stem bulblets were ready. They bumped off easily and I was afraid if I waited, the crazy rain we have been having, would leave me with no seeds to grow, so I tossed them in a bag with wet cotton balls and placed them on top of the fridge before we left. I read you could do this if you had no peat available. I also had no info as to if I was to close the bag or not, so I left it open, so they could get oxygen.

So to Fl we went for the long weekend. I came home and got some peat moss to switch over too and low and behold I had roots. I was amazed at how fast it happened. I was not even sure if they needed to be refrigerated first or pre treated with something. Now I don't know what I'm supposed to do. Do they need to go in the fridge? Or was that a trick to break dormancy. I guess mine are not dormant. They are all rooting.

I live in GA so I still have a bit of time before the weather gets cold. Do the seeds need to be indoors for now to establish good roots and then go outside? Or do they go out now? Or do they just need to stay in all winter to be sure they can make it in the spring? I'm not sure what to do with so much information I have found here and online.

Thank you!

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Tiger lilies are just beginning to bloom here, but the bulbils started forming in the leaf axils long ago and are dropping naturally around the parent plants. Many times they already have a little while root start while still attached to the parent plant.

DO NOT REFRIGERATE or leave on top of the refrigerator. If they had been growing for your aunt and she also lives/lived in your hardiness zone in Georgia, they should grow for you, too, without the trouble of digging, refrigeration, etc.

I would plant them in their permament place now since this is when the bulbils are naturally dropping anyway. Sort of just scatter them or put down just barely under the soil; don't plant deep since the growing root action pulls them down to the level they want to be. And the germination rate is very high - about as close to 100% as any plant I've ever grown.

Mark the spot you plant/scatter them because next season they'll look like a shiny blade of grass and are easy to accidentally step on, pull out, plant over, etc. It'll take at least three growing seasons for them to reach blooming size.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 2:37PM
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Awesome. Thank you. I just wanted to be sure that I would not loose them to the winter if they got planted now. Its funny, I checked last night and I think the whole lot has roots now. Looks like a bunch of white spiders in the peat moss. I did see some green too!

Any special additive I can put in the soil to help them out since its a direct sow? Should they be placed in the ground any special way since they are rooting (up/down/right/left)? The shallow part I got!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 9:02AM
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No. No additives! - the bulbils have all the energy they need even though they're small.

They normally propagate themselves by merely dropping on the ground and waiting for rain for any watering... consequently, they fall upside down, sideways, whatever, but they right themselves without any human intervention. Obviously it's root side down, but why drive yourself nuts painstakingly placing each one exactly right when they'll do that for themselves.

Now if you were given mature, blooming sized plants also - those should be planted so the top of the large bulb (where the stem starts to emerge) is 6" or so under the soil line. Hard to make a real mistake with these lilies though since the growing root action will pull them down to the level they need to be.

Good luck - they're wonderful, but probably considered too old fashioned and much overlooked by many gardeners (something grandma had in her garden), often hard to come by lilies. Today, you pretty much have to know someone who will give you the plants or bulbils. In my yard, they're a big draw for hummingbirds.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 9:40AM
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Well I love them! I thank my aunt whenever I talk to her for something that has done so well in our mess of a flower bed.

I had plants dying left and right only to discover they were sitting in underground puddles of water in a drought! WTF... Well at building time, our lot had to be leveled & raised in this spot and they did it with clay and gravel. He then threw down landscape cloth and 1-2 inches of good soil above that, topped it with pine straw and called it a day.

Even so, the tiger lilies and hosta just plunked right on along like nothing!

This season, I brought in a truckbed load of free county dirt/sand/decomposing mulch and mixed it 50/50 with the native clay and threw out the gravel. I spent a solid 3 weeks, morning to night, with a shovel and a pickax re-prepping this bed to fix what the "landscaper" did. Brought the whole low spot up another 3-5 inches. The plants that made it are smiling now.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 10:10AM
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Ok so I got them planted yesterday. If you can believe there were 50... and all 50 had roots... Whew, there is gonna be a herd of orange flowers in a few years when they get going... LOL

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 9:28AM
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They're quite striking when they come up and bloom in drifts - I've got about 35 year's worth scattered around in my gardens. Fortunately, big yard and a good variety of garden spaces. Some people have a thing about orange in their gardens, but with the lavender of Walker's Low nepeta, balloon flowers, day lilies of all colors, garden phlox, white feverfew, etc., I think they look great. I tend to think Nature doesn't make color mistakes. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 11:50AM
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karate626(7A Maryland)

Hi guys,
I'm new to lillies (SP?) and my Great Grandmother (Bubby) gave about 25 bulbils a few days ago. Most had a little root node comming out. Well I got around to planting them in a large pot I had with moist soil. How much growth should be exected from my bulbibs this year? How should I protect them over winter since they are in a pot. Also what are the their sunlight requirements? Right know I have them in the moist pot in shade because the heat has been of the charts this summer. Sorry for hijacking yor thread redraif, thought our topics were similar.

Thanks for any advice!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 10:19PM
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TJ - as said ... in nature the bulbils would drop naturally around the parent plant and take care of themselves without any human intervention.

1. If you have a yard - and aren't balcony gardening - and since they're already potted, bury the pot up to the rim so you won't lose track of where they are.

2. Maryland winters aren't cold enough for any extended period so a sunk pot doesn't need any extra protection. They survive here in Minnesota at 30 below for weeks on end and sprout in planters, cracks in the wall and just about any place they land.

3. Don't keep watering - they'll rot. The bulb has everything it needs.

4. Don't expect any growth this season. Next season, the sprouts will look like shiny, lanceolate blades of grass and do best in full sun. The second season they'll look like spindly little lily plants.

5. Planting them shallowly (just barely under the soil) directly in the ground would have been best since then they wouldn't have to be moved. They'll be a bit delicate for a few years and it'll be easy to break the stalk away from the bulb in handling.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 9:38AM
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karate626(7A Maryland)

Thanks for the response! I was hoping I could grow these in a large pot on my patio as it is a large ceramic pot and I didn't plan on sunking it into the ground and after a a few years plant divisions and new bulbibs into the ground. Should I give this pot full, indirect, or shaded sunlight? Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 11:05AM
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full, indirect, or shaded sunlight? Right now for the rest of this year and into next spring it doesn't really matter. Full sun next year once they sprout is fine. Is the ceramic pot big and sturdy enough to withstand winter and any expanding and contracting due to freeze/thaw cycles? I'd be more worried about the pot than the lily bulbs.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 12:10PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

They'll be Ok in your large pot on the patio.
Several bulbils fell into my tire planter over the years.
They are blooming right this minute.
Make sure you don't pull out the leaves next spring thinking they are grass blades.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 8:07PM
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Hi just wondering if you would sell some of your old fashioned daylilies? please contact Charlene at charlene0117@cox.net Thank you

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 9:16PM
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